Russia’s Navalny in a coma; poisoning suspected

The Guardian examines what happened to Alexei Navalny, the most prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, earlier today.

An outspoken critic of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, Navalny was returning to Moscow by plane from Tomsk in Siberia when he began to feel ill. The plane made an emergency landing in Omsk and he was taken to hospital. A mobile video shot on the plane showed medical personnel rushing onboard as a man screamed in agony.

Russian state-owned network RT is amplifying different claims from other Russian media.

Independent Moscow daily Kommersant, citing Telegram channel Pod’yem, claimed doctors suspected the use of drugs along with alcohol, the night before, may be a factor in Navalny’s illness. However, his spokesperson, Kira Yarmysh, rubbished these claims, saying the activist didn’t drink alcohol on Wednesday. 

Meanwhile, news agency TASS, quoting a source, said the notion that Navalny may have been deliberately poisoned is not the main focus of the police investigation at present. “This theory is not being considered now,” the source revealed. “It is not ruled out that he drank or took something yesterday himself.” When Navalny was admitted to hospital, he was diagnosed with “acute poisoning with psychedelics,” he noted.

Psychedelics? Really?